Writing a book is not as simple as just writing down words and sentences. There are a thousand things to keep in mind while writing a book, and a million other things to have knowledge of.
You don't always have to make mistakes to learn important lessons. Sometimes, it's better to learn from others' mistakes and not waste your own time in the same. Writing is an art that can go wrong in multiple ways. At times, it is not even the writing that is wrong; the author can unintentionally head towards a dead-end because of other avoidable factors.
Keeping everything crisp and short, let's look at some dos and don'ts that are surely going to be helpful for most writers:
1) Do follow a strict writing schedule. Develop a writing routine and give the necessary time required to writing. Don't rely on inspiration to strike. Write something everyday, even if it's only a paragraph.
2) Do learn grammar, punctuation and important rules of writing. No matter how good your plot is, it will be overshadowed by wrong grammar and punctuation. Reviewers will not spare such writing.
3) Do limit your use of exclamation marks and ellipsis.
4) Do learn from other authors. Read books on writing, take creative writing courses, and follow inspiring advice from good authors.
5) Do make author friends. Join a writing group or class. Having author friends can serve as good motivation and inspiration. You can learn some invaluable things from them that can change the entire game of writing for you.
6) Do write things down. Seldom does a writer remember great ideas that exist only in the mind. If not written down, they will most probably be forgotten. You won't even realise that you forgot an idea. For this reason, always write down any bit about writing that comes to your mind.
You don't have to use a pen and paper. Make notes on your phone. Use writing apps.
7) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Writing is a lonely job but it doesn't mean that you can't rely on a little help from fellow authors. Reach out to someone who can help you. Sometimes, a little push is all you need. Again, writing groups and classes are a great option.
8) Don't hold yourself back from starting over. Rewriting a book is not uncommon. Sometimes, a chapter or even an entire book needs to be rewritten before it satisfies the writer. Enjoy the process and just follow the lead of your characters.
There should be no time factor to pressure you. Take your own time and write what gives you joy.
9) Don't keep your work hidden. If you have written something, share it with your friends or family. If you don't want anyone you know to read it, then publish it on free online writing platforms. You can also choose to submit your work to publishers and literary agents, if you believe you're satisfied with it.
10) Don't give someone else the lead. It's great to seek advice and guidance. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that not all advice is the best advice for you. Take into consideration all reviews and opinions, however, if they fail to convince your heart, don't implement them.
Words are written and perceived in a different way by everyone. Therefore, there is no single correct way of doing anything.
Above all, don't forget that you are the writer. The characters are yours, the plot is yours, and the book is yours. What you say goes. Unless it's valid, don't let others' opinions shape your book.
These were a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind. You can add your own in the comments section down below and share your writing experience. After all, all authors are forever learners.
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This article was written by Kulsum. Kulsum is the best selling author of Love of a Stranger.